Has cycling's expense pushed you to pursue other hobbies or activities?

A 390 Duke and the Versys-X are the two best motos on that list and they’re roughly equivalent to a sub $1000 entry-level XC hardtail.

Neither is a reasonable analog for a “mid level full sus-xc bike.”

For your $5000 target, you can buy a fully race ready, carbon framed, carbon wheeled, with pro-level suspension, with a high-end drivetrain and finishing kit, XC bike… or you could buy an entry-level moto like a KLX300R, CRF250F, TTR230, etc that’s fun to ride but not competitive in performance terms.

That’s my whole point… for $5000 you’re getting a bike that’s 80-90% of what MvDP rides to rainbow stripes or you’re getting a starter moto. This isn’t a reasonable comparison.


Not to mention the motos on the list all weigh more than I do.

What you say is true but on a Ninja 400, YZF-R3 or CBR300 (all on that list) while you got nothing like a bigger engine, fancier motorcycle… these are still very well-engineered and built motorcycles with sooo much acceleration, speed and realistically speaking, good handling. These are not Suzuki TU-250x’s. In my mind (Alfred_Doper’s too I guess), it’s the ability to get a modern machine/chassis/engine that can go so fast, so well for around US$5,000 or truthfully call it closer to $6,000, versus getting a bicycle for the same money.

Yes, it’s a much higher-end bicycle but Ninja 400 versus bicycle for the same money? Personally the value for money is entirely with the motorcycle for me. Many people will disagree and what presents value for money to them will be the bicycle.

It depends what you want the motorcycle/bicycle for. If you want to go somewhere and get there faster, yes, those motorcycles will do the job better. If you want to ride shorter distances and get healthier doing it, the pedal-bike is the easy choice.

It’s an easy comparison to make (“that bike costs more than a motorcycle!”) that ignores that the 2 machines serve different functions.

First… none of those bikes is an example of a “modern machine/chassis/engine that can go so fast”… they’re budget, entry level bikes meant to reliably get from A to B. If you want a cheap efficient commuter vehicle those motorcycles are a great option… but comparing utilitarian transportation options with recreational vehicles is disingenuous.

That aside, I’d drop a few thousand on a cargo e-bike long before I would even consider one of those underpowered motos as a local transport option.

Of course says the R1250RS rider. This is is sort of like a BMW M6 driver discounting the Toyota GR86/Subaru BRZ. Yes, I’ll agree you’re completely right the fancy stuff is a different level of bike/car entirely, but come on you must have some recognition as a motorcycle lover that the small sportbikes are well done and not suited for pure commuting only. You can have good sport riding on them! Sort of like you don’t have to buy a top-of-the-line bicycle to get something that’s totally raceable.

If you have the legs you can race competitively at amateur level with a cheap alu frame and a shimano tourney 2x7 transmission alongside people racing with the very latest spesh tarmac on dura-ace di2. Or with a 15 years old high end bike.

And you can ride the same bike for 30 years or more. My parents still ride their bike they purchased in early 80’s. My father switched to indexed dt shifter but my mother still has friction shifters. They bought themselves newer bikes for their respective 60th birthday and converted their old bikes to fenders to have a rain bike ready at all times. Those are only 2 big purchases in 40y, the second one because they could, not because they needed it. Everything else were consumable and wearable and they tend to keep their kits, shoes and helmets a long time.

Cycling is only expensive if you follow the sirens of marketing.


Objectively, I have spent way too much on bikes and cycling over the years. That said, no one has made me, and by and large I have enjoyed what I’ve spent. I unapologetically like nice bikes, and nice clothing, and do enjoy chopping and changing, but wholly and openly acknowledge I could have often have bought much cheaper solutions that would ultimately have worked perfectly well, or that many purchases weren’t at all strictly ‘necessary’.

All this said, I have a good (but unspectacular) income, generally live fairly simply, and make the conscious choice to allocate a fair proportion of my disposable income in the direction of cycling. I couldn’t afford another similar hobby, at least as I currently pursue it, but then I wouldn’t have the time anyway.

Were I looking to compete at a very high level in something like tt-ing, I might baulk at the investment in wind tunnel time, skin suits, full discs, etc, but a) there are budget alternatives to most things and b) nothing’s as important as your legs. On social rides, nothing’s more important than the company and/or scenery.

Bottom line: cycling can be expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. I could go on eBay now and find a perfectly competent road bike for £500, probably less, that would (being brutal) do a better job than I’d ever really need it to. There are spectacular events that cost less than a takeaway meal and a bottle of wine for 2. It’s a slightly forced analogy, but a sunny weekend in the Lake District on a 105 bike is a hell of a lot of fun; you don’t have to spend a week in Monaco on DADi2.


The bikes listed above are not BRZ’s and GR86’s… they’re Corolla’s and Civic’s. Can you pour some money into a Corolla or Civic and make it a fun little toy, sure. Is it ever going to be competitive with a GTR, absolutely not.

Here’s a simple test… you can buy a bicycle for $12k at your local shop and then put that bike under a professional rider who rides that bike to go win the Tour. Now, what motorcycle can you buy at your local dealership that you could hand off to a MotoGP rider that he could go win at Mugello competing against $2-4 million dollar custom MotoGP bikes? Would a $25k R1 be competitive? No. Would that $80k BMW HP4 be competitive? Still no. So, in a fair “apples to apples” comparison, what we’re really comparing is lower mid-tier bikes with 105 or Rival selling for $3-5k to motorcycles that cost between $25-80k. Do you want a Tarmac SL6 Sport for $3500 or do you want a base model R1 for $20,000? That’s a more accurate comparison if you’re insistent upon comparing motos and bikes.

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No, it has just caused me to be more resourceful. I broke a spring in my Di2 XT derailleur, this part was not one that Shimano offered for replacement. So in their eyes the whole derailleur was trash. Found a very similar spring on McMaster Carr and fixed it for $11. Took me a few tries to get the right spring or it would have been less. I have a lot of examples of repairs I have done like this since the start of the pandemic. Im also a carbon fiber repair specialist and I can often get frames for very cheap if not free and repair them to ride. I still do have to find new parts to go with them, but ebay is your friend.

This is a thing I love about cycling and cycling kit. A crazy expensive and true “superbike” bike is within my reach.
I can pretty easily assemble a bike that is ‘better’ than those that the pros ride, due to their need for a bit more bullet-proof durability (alloy bars? If I fall and break a bar or stem, jumping back on to rejoin the group is the last thing I’m going to think about. Call my wife to come get me, I’m having a lie down) and UCI weight limits and equipment regulations (tri bikes - ugly but better at going fast).
Try doing that in other equipment dependent sports.

Okay I can’t argue (against) that in the scheme of things the cheapest sport bikes are really sporty commuters versus the capabilities of true sport bikes.

I’m actually seeing the point you’re making for the conversation about how a very nice commuter bicycle wouldn’t be that $5,000-$6,000 you pay for a very nice sporty commuter motorcycle. It would be maybe $1,000, even as low as $500-$750, so the bicycle-motorcycle comparison can actually be used to show how relatively inexpensive bicycles are. And people could save themselves a lot of money if they adjust their thinking about what makes an acceptable bike, even for racing purposes.

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I’m gradually turning into my father. He used to say ‘we’re very good at persuading ourselves that what we want is what we need.’ I suppose that’s the basis of marketing…

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My argument has more to do with industrial engineering and manufacturing a vastly more complex product from an engineering, manufacturing, and regulatory perspective in comparison to a racing bicycle frame. I could make similar arguments using Allied, Time, and Firefly if I wanted to keep it in cycling. Regardless, comparing halo bikes to elite motorsport is a bit specious and inaccurate, if anything those are prototype machines which are largely disallowed in WT road racing (barring some caveats) and more akin to custom machines designed for and funded by large sporting federations for useage in global events like team GB which are vastly more expensive than a normal top end bike. In addition to this, the equipment at the high end of motorsport has a much bigger impact in outcomes than it does in cycling. Tires are a valid argument, I hate when people bitch about 70-100 dollar race tires because those are more expensive than the Bridgestone’s on their car and don’t do 50,000 miles those people have never shopped high end off the shelf performance tires.

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Ultimately time is what limit you the most pursuing different hobbies. I like to do electronic music with synthetizers and sequencers but whenever I have 2-3h free for myself I more often than not hop on the bikes or do stand up paddle because I am working from home and enjoy being outside.

All my expensive home studio equipment is mostly collecting dust. I would have to live alone without kids and my partner to be bale to dedicate time to it.